Race of the Week 2017

One Racing Fan's Devotion Is More Than Skin Deep

Rachel Alexandra tattoo Top Story
Photo: Jody Lawrence
By Jody Lawrence, HRN Contributor 
After I left the tattoo parlor the other day, sporting my new Rachel Alexandra ink, I stopped by my Mom’s on the way home. Her words were “Jody, that doesn’t surprise me” and honestly I knew it wouldn’t. She currently has pictures of Rachel and I together, hanging on her living room wall. She has an idea of what this horse means to me.

Rachel Alexandra tattooWe all have our favorites. The legends of the past of course,
Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Rags to Riches, just to name a few, and they will always hold a special place in our hearts.

But I think each of us also has “the one.” The one that for some
reason, means something a little different. For many, of the current
day horses, it’s most deservedly Zenyatta or Black Caviar. Not taking anything away from those two (I am a huge fan of both) my special favorite is Rachel Alexandra.

She is the one that I found myself worrying about, whether she was
in training, racing or foaling for the first time. She is the one I cried over during both wins and losses. Watching reruns of the Preakness and especially the Woodward gets me every time… to this day. Neither race was given to her, she won on pure heart and courage, ridden by jockey Calvin Borel, who believed in her, as much as she believed in herself.

Rachel Alexandra with the authorThat fall day in October last year when I actually got the chance to
meet Rachel, was a memory I will hold forever. When I stepped out of the Stonestreet Farm shuttle van to the barn (it was raining that day) they had her standing in the middle of the barn aisle. I just stopped about ten feet from her and cried for a minute...so overwhelmed was I at just being in her company. My friend who accompanied me, put his arm around me and said “It’s ok, you’re really here, let’s go meet her”
and we did. That wasn’t the first time I cried that day. I spoke to her
softly, petted her, told her how proud I was of her…and how much, I
loved her.

Then came time for her to foal, her first son, of Curlin. I don’t know
the number of countless times I got up during the night, at the time
she was due, just to check online, not only to see if the miracle had
happened, but more importantly…to see if she was all right.

So when the idea came to me of getting a thoroughbred tattooed on
my arm, it was a no brainer. They say beauty is skin deep, for Rachel
Alexandra, I took it personally and with pride. 


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Older Comments about One Racing Fan's Devotion Is More Than Skin Deep...

Awesome! I love Jody!
Awesome race fan.Awesome tattoo.Rachel is my favorite as well.Being in her presence was like being in the presence of royalty.There will never be another one like her.
The FDA says the colors that go into tattoo ink are "technically illegal" since they haven't been approved for that use and, as a result, are worrisome. But aside from a recent spate of about 50 allergic and other reactions to certain inks, the FDA doesn't see much of a problem. Dermatologists say the biggest problem is the "remorse factor" -- the morning-after realization that a tattoo of the current boyfriend's name may not play well when the current passion -- but not the tattoo -- fades.
Ignorance like tranfereance of hepatitis, infection, allergic reactions to contents, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image — such as when a person who has permanent eyeliner has an MRI of the eye
Along with Ruffian and Genuine Risk, RA is one of my favorite fillies. Incredible horse. Nice to see such a dedicated fan
We have things in common. Rachel Alexandra my all time favorite filly, and my brother who served with distinction as an army medic and loves tattoos. The stigma about tattoos is ignorance. Without my brother restarting little league in our city and maintaining it after being drafted as president of the league for 15 consecutive years through progressively worse arthritis there would have been no baseball for the kids. I could go on about him but I did want to make my point. I love your tattoo.I saw her only once at Saratoga but I still remember her vividly. So glad you enjoyed your visit with her and loved the article.
I have a ton of respect for people who show complete pride in their beliefs. Thanks for the article, it was great to read, and I am really happy you got to meet your favorite.
If I were to get a tat of my favorite horse (by reading my username you would think Union Rags, but no) I would chose Zenyatta or Seattle Slew. I love them both and they are my two all time favorites.
What a moron
Guys, she wanted to get a tattoo of the horse she loved. Got a problem? Don't talk about it here then. It was her decision, and I'm sure she doesn't regret any of it.
Thank you all very much, I am proud of it and it does mean a lot to me, really appreciate your kind words.
Ruffian65. It is a beautiful tattoo. I admire you for getting it. Just out of curiosity how long did it take you to get the tattoo? I have always liked tattoos, but to be honest I am allergic to pain of any sort and am a bit of a wimp.
  • ruffian65 · Hi Buckpasser and thank you very much, it was a 4 hour sitting and with all the shading..yes it hurt a bit! Honestly, the worse part was the word Rachel because that was directly on the bone. · 1992 days ago
OR, a friend is a plastics guy and he tells me all the time the horrible lacerations he has to repair after someone with a piercing gets bumped around in a minor car accident and the metal tears through flesh to make one heck of a mess to clean up.
my favorite sotry in this arena is the clown who tired to SUE a plastic surgeon in Chicago for refused to "mutilate" this fellow's tongue by slpitting it down the middle. The court immediately threw it out and now there is surge of old "barber" surgeons doing this very dangeous procedure ithout benefit of a steril environment, the surgical skill and equipement necessary not to mention NO analgesia...What a culture
and @AfterHours: wow. I never knew you had so many. I don't know how you manage it haha
Obviously since she has a tattoo it means she's going to become a convicted fellon, right travel? *shakes head* Honestly, leave the girl alone. This story is touching and do you have any idea how many people have tattoos these days? Get over that stupid stereotype. Anyways, this article brought tears to my eyes and congrats on your tattoo and getting to meet your favorite! That special horse to me is Barbaro, and I would surely get a tattoo of him if I weren't so scared of needles XD
Ruffian65: your meeting and concern for Rachel was extremely touching and I enjoyed your article. As an old time racing fan, it never fails to move me how a person finds that special horse that speaks to him or him. I am so glad that Rachel's owners let you meet your idol. I am sure it was a day you will never forget.
@TV-- my husband is a physician and chief of staff at our hospital and has tatoos on his lower back. Four Kanji characters. Never stopped him from getting what he wanted out of life. Or the respect of his patients or peers.
So that has always stopped me, but in seeing yours I think I may consider a Kelso tattoo.
I love this, I personally have 4 tattoos and I am in the process of getting my 5th and 6th one, one for Ruffian and one for Zenny. I feel they have a deep meaning to me and reading this article warmed my heart =). This would be me if I were to ever meet Zenyatta.

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